Before arriving in Lyon, I was under the impression that the city was a smaller but just as worthy version of Paris – less crowds with all the French charm you could want. While I was there, I noticed many similarities between the country’s capital city, Paris, and France’s gastronomical capital, Lyon. Similar to the Sacré Cœur in Paris, the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière sits high atop the Fourvière Hill, easily seen from almost every point in Lyon
We got our first glimpse of Notre-Dame de Fourvière when we emerged from the metro and found ourselves standing in Place Bellecour, one of the largest squares in Lyon. The basilica was easily seen perched atop the hill and appeared to be watching over all of Lyon.
Our apartment was right in the heart of Vieux Lyon which is situated at the very base of the Fourvière Hill. The basilica seemed to tower over us everywhere we went in Lyon. There are two ways to get to the top of Fourvière Hill if you don’t have a car: walk or take the cable car (catch the cable car from the “Vieux Lyon” metro station). We chose to make the climb up the stairs because we prefer to spend our money on gelato instead of a ride in a cable car (priorities!).
It wasn’t an easy climb because there were a lot of stairs, but it was so worth it when we saw the incredible views of Lyon from the top. It was a little hard to fully enjoy the views of Lyon when the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière stood towering over us, commanding our attention.
If you’ve ever traveled through Europe, then I’m sure you’ve peeked inside more churches, basilicas, and cathedrals than you care to keep track of. I didn’t expect anything more from the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière than what I had seen in countless other basilicas throughout my travels, but up close, the Notre-Dame de Fourvière was completely mesmerizing.
With the bright, eye-catching white color and ornate designs decorating the exterior, it was hard to pull my eyes away. However, like many of the buildings and monuments we visited on our trip, the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière was partly under construction which was a little disappointing, but it just means I’ll have to return to Lyon again and see it in all its glory.
I was completely caught off guard by the intricate blue, green, and gold designs covering the ceiling. I can’t remember another cathedral or basilica that I’ve been inside that had vibrant pastel colors decorating the ceiling. It was truly jaw-dropping and one of the most unique basilicas I’ve ever seen, and consequently has become one of my favorite basilicas in Europe.
I was only able to snap a couple pictures while we were inside the basilica because mass was happening and you’re not really supposed to take pictures inside (shh!). But I was so impressed with the gorgeous interior that I couldn’t not sneakily snap a couple pictures to show you all one of my favorite basilicas. If you’re in Lyon you definitely shouldn’t miss a trip to the top of Fourvière Hill to see the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière and the spectacular views of the city.
Have you been to the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière in Lyon? What is your favorite basilica in Europe? Leave a comment below!